Back Roads to Far Places After Basho
Japanese hand scroll with nine poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti accompanied by ten spit bite aquatint etchings by San Francisco artist Stephanie Peek, printed and produced by Paul Mullowney of Tokugenji Press, at Tokugenji Zen temple in Nara, Japan. The poems, inspired by Haiku poet Matsuo Basho, were set and letterpress printed by Alan Hillesheim at Digger Pine Press, Berkeley, California. The scroll is mounted exquisitely with silk and gold brocade borders by master craftsman Shosaku Yoshimura in Ouda, Japan. The papers throughout, including the three layers of backing paper, are made by Living National Treasure Hiroyuki Funkunishi, a fifth generation paper maker in Yoshino, Japan. The etchings are mounted on a paper made from 100% kozo dyed with the inner bark of the silk tree by Yoshino Kizuki. The rolled scroll is stored in a paulownia wood box signed on the lid by the poet with the chops of the artist and the printer. The edition size is 10 with 3 artists' proofs and one trial proof. 13" wide by 91" long. 2003.
Livre d'artiste with eleven drypoints and aquatints by Stephanie Peek with selected texts by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. In English with Italian translations by Lucia Cucciarelli, published by Salvatore Mazza, Edizioni Canopo. Letterpress from handset Atheneum published by Franco Palagini, San Miniato, Italy, with drypoints printed by Robert Stevenson at the University of California, Berkeley on Magnani paper. Twelve paired folios. Portfolio boxes, handmade in Italy, are covered in dark green Fabriano. Edition of 35. (10 x 14" folio in 11 x 15 x 2" box). 1999. Quiet, handsome, black on white prints–the gentle Italian landscape, birds in flight, starry night–visually complement the exaltations of the poem. This edition is understated yet powerful. The grand simplicity of the etchings, melodious Italian verse, and original English of San Francisco's Poet Laureate rest together companionably in this portfolio that is at once a reminder of the world’s beauty and the soul’s journey into form. Available at Seager Gray Gallery.